In the present lot, Affandi's paint handling is instantly recognizable— dispensing with the brush and palette, he would squeeze the oil paint directly onto the canvas and conjure strokes of heavy, tactile impasto with his fingers. His strokes are dynamic and spontaneous, possessing the horse with the same energy that moved through him. Forceful lines and dramatic curves form bold contours that accentuate the ripples of the muscle and the quivering of the haunches, as the horse hurtles across the frame with frenzied, frenetic energy.
Affandi's abundant use of red tones also symbolizes that strength and speed. The wind wisps the horse's mane and tail into the air like flames, represented by the red strokes and yellow accents that whirl and swirl. It is as though the horse has been set ablaze in an eruption of energy and vibrant color. Its eyes wide, nostrils flared, and teeth bared, the horse opens itself up to the great expanse around it. Set against the horse is a mesmerizing landscape of green and blue swirls that rise and fall. Increasingly, as it falls behind the horse, the landscape warps and grows in intensity, as though being swept backwards by the intensity of the horse's gallop.
Although Affandi was a maestro of expressionistic paintings, reference to reality was never lost. He would often set up his easel before a scene and take in the details with his penetrating observation, before enthralling his audience with his intuitive and vigorous daubs of paint. Affandi's approach also embodies his ideal of honest representation and authenticity, rather than 'rehearsed reverence'. He sought to render life as he saw it, allowing us to be engulfed by the raw power and emotions emanating from the canvas.
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